Flu Can Increase Risk of Experiencing A Stroke

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Flu can increase risk of experiencing a stroke, according to findings from two new research. It concludes that flu or flu-like illness increases a stroke risk.

In the United States, approximately 800,000 people have a stroke every year. The risk factors associated with the condition smoking status, age, weight, or family history of stroke.

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Now, a research which is expected to be presented next week at the International Stroke Conference in Honolulu, HI, found that flu and flu-like illnesses could also raise the risk.

During the study, the researchers used the medical records of 30,912 individuals from New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System. These patients experienced an ischemic stroke in 2014 and had been to the hospital.

The team then looked for patients hospitalized for flu or flu-like illness in the 2 years before the stroke. The scientists found that flu-like symptoms were strongly associated with experiencing a stroke. Overall, they found a nearly 40 percent risk of having a stroke after being admitted to the hospital with flu-like symptoms. In fact, the risk increased for up to 1 year.

“We were expecting to see differences in the flu-stroke association between rural and urban areas,” explains Amelia K. Boehme, Ph.D., an assistant professor of epidemiology in neurology for Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, and also lead study author.

“Instead we found the association between flu-like illness and stroke was similar between people living in rural and urban areas, as well as for men and women, and among racial groups.”